Pest Control

Pest Control TilePest control is an area of food safety that often gets overlooked until a problem is discovered, however pest activity can severely affect a food business. The obvious direct impact pest can have on a food business is tthrough the introduction of bacteria that can contaminate food and cause illness but pest activity can also cause significant damage to the structure or fabric of the premises. It is therefore very important that pest activity is controlled.

Pests will be attracted to any location that can offer food, warmth or a place that can offer protection and it is simply not possible to remove their presence from the environment completely. Of course, the presence of pests in an area can be significantly increased if other establishments near by fail to introduce pest control measures into their business.

Pests can be divided into 3 categories:

  • Rodents: Rats and Mice
  • Birds: Pigeons, Crows, Seagulls, Starlings and Sparrows
  • Insects: Flies, Cockroaches, Beetles, Ants, Wasps and Bees

There are a number of measures that can be taken to control pests: 

Pest Proofing:

Buidlings that house food premises must be in a good state of repair, this itself will help to restrict pest access and prevent them establishing breeding grounds. 

Insect Screens:

Windows and doors will inevitably be opened from time to time and this is an obvious easy way to allow pests to enter a food premises. Therefore the fitting of screens will help to reduce the opportunity for pest to gain access.

Electronic Fly Killing Devices (EFK's):

Probably the most commonly used pest control devices seen in food business are EFK's . They are recognised due to the coloured bulb that attracts flying pests. These devices attract and then electrocute flying insects to reduce possible contamination of food.

Good Housekeeping:

No amount of proofing or automatic pest capture will replace good observation and housekeeping. All workers in food premises should be aware of potential infestation or the presence of pests and how to limit the chance of pests coming into the food premises.

Pest Control Contractors:

All food businesses should always employ the services of a pest control company. Pest contractors should offer a number of services including inspections, pest proofing, infestation irradication and the positioning of bait and traps as well as an emergency service. All pest contractor reports should be kept for local inspectors to view during visits.

Checking, Inspection and Monitoring:

Even if you have proofed your premises, use EFK’s and you have a pest contractor employed you still need to conduct checks and inspections yourself. Workers should be made aware of what to look for in terms of pest activity. Managers and Owners must know what action to take if infestation occurs.

How can we help you?

When you build your food safety system using our software you have the opportunity to identify where pests can present a risk or hazard to your buisiness. Once you identify that they present a risk you have the facility to create a set of rules and procedures that will assist your business to control pest activity and limit their impact.

The rules and procedures you create are not designed to make you a pest control expert, however, what they will do is provide guidance to you and your workers about what action must be taken. We have provided extensive guidance to help you determine what measures you may need to include and what action you decide to take. 

You can also create a weekly report form that can have a pest control section guiding managers or owners to formally inspect their premises. 

As a full member of our site you can always contact us for direct assistance if you have a specific concern.

If you want to find out more about our food safety system you can click here or why not take the tour by clicking the tour link below

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This refers to the ways in which a food product maybe mishandled by a consumer and result in a hazard. For example: The time taken to transport food from a supermarket to refrigerator at home or failure to cook a product correctly
AcidA chemical with a pH of less than 7. Generally regarded as corrosive and turns litmus paper red
Act of ParliamentThese are statutes passed by parliament that can only be modified by parliamentary procedure. Acts are normally concerned with principles of legislation and must pass through the House of Commons and the House of Lords before receiving Royal Assent
A disease that develops rapidly and produces symptoms quickly after infection. Patients generally recover quickly or possibly die. Acute does not indicate severity, an acute disease may be mild
Acute PoisonA poision that takes effect rapidly. In the case of posions for rodents it would involve a single dose
AdditivesAdditives in food can be categorised as follows: preservatives, antioxidants, colourings, emulsifiers, stabilisers, artificial sweetners, and flavourings. They serve to improve quality, taste, shelf life, function or appearance of the food. Additives in food are sometimes viewed as un-natural additions, this is not always the case however.
AerobicThis simply means requires oxygen and is a term used when describing certain types of bacteria. Aerobic bacteria can be divided into a number of sub categories. In terms of food safety, the term is used to describe harmful bacteria that can survive and grow in bacteria.
Air Off TemperatureThe temperature of the cold air leaving the evaporator coil where it enters the refrigerator, multideck display or chiller cabinet.
Air On TemperatureThe temperature of the warmer air measured at the return air vent in a refrigerator, multideck display or chiller cabinet.
AlkaliA chemical with a pH of 7 or more which reacts with acid to form a salt and water only. Turns litmus paper blue
Any substance, usually a protein, which is capable of inducing an allergy. For example: Peanuts are known to be an allergen
AllergyAn identifyable response to food or food additives by the immune system. This may involve the respiratory system, the gastrointestinal tract, the skin or the central nervous system
Ambient TemperatureThe temperature of the surroundings usually refered to as "Room Temperature"
AntisepticA substance the prevents the growth of bacteria and moulds, specifically on the human body
AsepticThis literally means free from microorganisms. In food production this would mean the process by which a sterile product is packaged in a sterile container in a way that maintains sterility.
AuditA documented inspection performed to verify, by examination and evaluation, the effectiveness of a system. In a food business, this may be an internal process conducted by the business itself or an external process, conducted by a third party company/body or by a local authority. Audits of food businesses will involve a physical inspection of a premises, an inspection of paper work and safety systems and may also involve interviewing workers, staff and management.
Authorised OfficerAny person who is authorised by a food authority, in writing, to act in matters arising under the food safety act 1990 or other associated laws and regulation. Sometimes also referred to as EHO's Food Inspectors, Environmental Health Officers or Enforcement Officers. Authorised Officers have the right to demand entry to a premises by law.
AutoclaveA commercial pressure cooker, bigger in size than would be seen in a domestic situation and usually built for a specific purpose. Usually used to sterilize utensils and equipment in medical locations they are also used in canning companies and large food manufacturers
Without any symptoms
A gram positive rod shaped bacterium capable of causing two forms of food poisioning. Most common is nausea and vomitting one to five hours after digestion. The second is rare in the UK and has an onset period of eight to sixteen hours and results in diarrhoea and abdominal pain. Bacillus Cereus occurs in rice dishes, vegetables, custards and soups and is caused by ineffective cooking followed by slow cooling and poor refrigeration
A gram positive bacteria commonly found in the soil and bird feathers, usually ground dwelling birds or aquatic birds. It has the ability to produce protective spores allowing it to withstand high temperatures. It is known to cause nausea and vomitting after an one hour onset period or diarrhoea after a 12 hour onet period
A gram positive round bacteria commonly found in soil. It has the ability to form tough protective spores allowing it to withstand high temperatures and extreme environments. Although quite rare it is known to cause nausea and vomitting after a one hour onset period or diarrhoea after a 12 hour onset period
Single cell microoganisms with rigid cell walls that multiply by dividing into two. Some bacteria cause illness, some will cause spoilage
This is a chemical cleaning agent that also serves as a sterilising agent at the same time. The product contains both detergents to disolve grease and food deposits but also a sterilising agent that then disinfects the surfaces being cleaned. It is important to follow the manufacturers guidance with products such as this as they require correct dosing when used with water and they may also specify a contact time. These are very useful products in places where space is tight and facilities may be limited
A substance that destroys bacteria
The study of bacteria particularly those that cause disease
A parasitic virus of bacteria
A substance that inhibits the growth and multiplication of bacteria
An individual cell or singular of bacteria
A french term commonly used in english. It means Water Bath and is typically a piece of equipment that heats water for the purposes of keeping food warm/hot. Bain Maries come in a multitude of shapes and sizes depending on the needs of the operator. Hob top versions are common in domestic situations, mobile units with water compartments are used in situations such as hospitals and large catering establishments and some display equipment has the ability to act as a bain marie if required. A bain marie produces a moist heat which may prolong the shelf life of certain foods instead of using dry heat from elements alone or halogen light bulbs. Bain Maries must be cleaned and drained frequently
Asexual method of reproduction by the division of the nucleus of a cell into two daughter nuclei, followed by a similar dividing of the cell body. This is the method of reproduction for bacteria
Chemicals and materials that can be broken down by bacteria or other biological means (usually during sewage treatment)
Specifically in the relation to Poultry and Farm Animals - Taking all necessary steps to prevent the contamination of feed and water and the infection of animals from all sources of pathogens including pests, birds, animals, dust, soil, feed, people, waste, the environment, the premises and equipment. It may also exclude the use of toxic chemicals
The process of immersion of products, for example vegetables, in hot water for up to a minute to destroy enzymes and reduce spoilage. Particularlly used for preparing frozen vegetables. Can also be used to preserve colour and flavour
The process by which cooked food is frozen to below -8oC (this can be as cold as -20oC) in less than 2 hours. Commonly used in mass food manufacture where wholesale storage and distribution is required. Blast freezing is not as effective in small operations due to the limitations of the equipment being used. Standard freezers do not have the ability to blast freeze
The common name given to a number of disinfectant products. It can be very dangerous if used incorrectly and the manufacturers guidance should always be followed. All bleaches will need to be diluted before use and thorough rinsing must take place after use. If used incorrectly bleach products can give off highly toxic gas and bleach will taint any food even at very low strengths or concentrations. It is not advisable to use bleach on food contact surfaces
The thermal process applied to low acid canned food, which reduces the chance of survival of one spore of Clostridium Botulinum to less than 1012. It is the equivalent to 121oC for three minutes
British Pest Control AssociationThe British Pest Control Association (BPCA) is the leading UK trade association representing those organisations with a professional interest in the eradication of public health pests. A not-for-profit organisation, which acts in the interests of their members and on behalf of the pest management industry within the UK.
A substance capable of causing cancer. Carcinogens may be chemical, physical or biological
A person who harbours, and may transmit, pathogenic organisms without showing signs of illness
This is in relation to food poisoning. How the food vehicle became contaminated and the stage of food preparation that allowed bacterial multiplication or survival
The organism, toxin or poison associated with the illness, which is recovered from sufferers and/or food and/or environment under investigations. For example salmonella, scrombrotoxin or mercury
This is a microbiological process. The inoculation of a product with specific pathogens to determine, for example, the critical limits for cooking. By subjecting the product to various time/temperature combinations
A disease that usually develops slowly and symptoms that usually last for extended periods
A substance hat is used in low concentration and relies on repeated intake by the target pest to ensure elimination
Chartered Institute of Environmental Health
A surface that is free from dirt, soil, residual film and is not greasy to the touch. It will have no unpleasant odour and will not dicolour a white paper towel if wiped across it
The process of removing soil, food residues, dirt, grease and other objectionable matter
A person with symptoms who has become ill
A gram positive, rod shaped bacterium that produces several different toxins. The best known are neurotoxins that can cause flaccid muscular paralysis seen in botulism. Commonly found in soil and sometimes fish, meat and vegetables. Infection occurs due to poor food processing which creates an environment where the bacteria can flourish. Canning and fermented good are the most common sources of Clostridium Botulinum and so are vacuum packed products. Blown cans and or blown packs should always be discarded.
Gram Positive Rod Shaped spore forming bacterium found throughout nature but usually a component of decaying vegetation. It is found in the intestines of humans and other animals as well as insects. Clostridium Perfringens is the the thirds most common source of food poisoning in the UK and is usually as a result of poorly cooked meat. Symptoms are abdominal cramps and diarrhoea. Vomitting and fever is very rare
A collective of internationally adopted food standards and guidelines intended to protect the health of consumers and to ensure fair practices in the food trade. Produced by the Codex Alimentarious Commission of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and the World Health Organisation.
A cluster of bacteria grown on a culture plate in enough number as to be visible to the naked eye
A usually harmless microorganism, but one which may cause illness in an immunocompromised person
Food that has been subjected to treatment that has destroyed all pathogens and organisms capable of causing problems such as spoilage, under normal conditions. For example, low-acid, canned foods
Measures that satisfy a legal requirement
Found in a refrigerator. A mechanical pump that moves up and down in a cylinder containing refrigerant gas and pumps it around the system. Starting with the condenser
Found in a refrigerator. A unit that looks like a car radiator with a fan in front of it. The fan draws in air from the room across the surface of the condensor, which cools the gaseous refrigerant, delivered from the compressor and returns in to a liquid state
The period of time required by disinfectant to achieve disinfection
The occurance of any objectionable matter in food or the food environment
Actions or activities required to prevent or eliminate a food safety hazard or reduce it to an acceptable level.
These are a set of regulations administered by the Health & Safety Executive and govern how substances that present a risk to individuals health should be controlled and managed. The regulations apply to the use of Chemicals, Cleaning Agents, Vapour, Dust. All food businesses should assess their compliance with COSHH and ensure they are taking appropriate action to prevent harm to workers.
A step in the process where control may be applied, but a loss of control would not result in an unacceptable health risk. (compare this to a CCP)
A system of food preparation in which food is cooked in advance and cooled rapidly for chilled storage to be reheated several days later. Strict control of chilled temperatures are required to ensure the safety of the food. This is not a process that can be achieved in small scale food preparation
The temperature found at the centre of the thickest part of the food
The action to be taken when results of monitoring at a CCP indicates a loss of control. i.e. a critical limit is breached such as core temperature is not achieved, but cooking for longer will resolve the situation.
Rounded finishes to the junctions of walls, floors and ceilings. Designed to allow for easier cleaning
These are the steps in the food handling process where a control can be applied and is essentila to eliminate or prevent a food safety hazard, or to reduce any risk to an acceptable level
A monitored point which separates acceptable from unacceptable. For example in temperature control. Hot holding at 63oC - Lower than 63oC would be unacceptable, whereas 63oC or above would be acceptable
The transfer of bacteria from contaminated food (usually raw) to ready to eat food by direct contact, drip contact or indirect contact for example by a person or a cloth
A liquid or solid medium used to grow a population of a particular type of microorganism as a result of the innoculation and incubation of the medium
The time, in minutes, required at a given temperature to reduce the number of viable cells or spores of a given microoganism by 90%
The temperature range within which the multiplication of some pathogenic bacteria is possible. Usually recognised as being from 5oC to 63oC
The Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
The reduction of the available water in the food so as to prevent the growth of microoganisms
The loss of water and salt from the body, for example, as a result of serious diarrhoea. 60% of a mans body weight and 50% of a womans body weight is water. This level is essential for the healthy functioning of cells
Is the breakdown or disruption of cell structures. If proteins in a living cell are denatured it results in a disrupton of cell activity and possibly cell death. Denatured proteins exhibit a wide range of characteristics
The process of purifying shell fish by re-laying them in clean water for around 42 hours
A chemical of mixture of chemicals made of soap or synthetic substitutes. Used for the removal of grease and food particles from dishes, utensils and food equipment. Its use promotes cleanliness so that all surfaces are accessible for the use of disinfectants. Detergents alone are not disinfectants unless clearly stated
Failure to meet a critical limit, for example, if food is only cooked to 70oC and it should be 75oC. The deviation is 5oC
A chemical used to disinfect. These are usually chemical in nature and are used in conjunction with detergents
The reduction of microoganisms to a level that will not lead to harmful contamination or spoilage of food. Disinfection usually requires the use of chemical agents or possbly physical action that will not adversely affect the food. The term disinfection is usually applied to premises, equipment, utensils and surfaces but equally applies to the treatment of skin (hands for example)
The description of bacteria that are not growing or multiplying but are waiting to multiply when favourable conditions return
These are effectively dry versions of the standard wet bain marie. Designed to be easier to use, some may say more efficient and economic and usually less expensive. They generally heat the food from below in a warm chamber rather than through direct contact but heating can be less consistent than the water equivalent. Decision over wet or dry bain maries is usually down to the individual or depends on the sort of food they are holding hot
The legal defence when a person has been charged with an offence against any food safety act or regulation. Essentially it means that the person charged has taken all reasonable precautions and therefore excercised due dilligence to avoid committing an offence by themselves or a person under their control
A gram negative rod shaped bacterium that is commonly found in the lower intestine of warm blooded animals. Most E Coli strains are harmless to humans however some can cause serious food poisoning and have resulted in deaths. E Coli O157 is probably the most commonly known strain and can prove fatal. The presence of E Coli suggests faecal contamination of the water supply or food. There are many strains and symptoms vary from servere abdominal pain to diarrhoea
Environmental Health Officer. These are local officers with the same powers as the police to arrest and access premises. They are focused on the safety of the public and are employed by local authorities. Their primary task is to conduct inspections of food premises, primary food processing and food manufacturers to ensure safe standards are being employed. They can prosecute, prohibit businesses to operate and also provide advice where required. In recent years both TSO's and EHO's have been combined into Public Safety Departments of local authorities.
Equipment used to control flying insects consisting of UV light that attracts the insects, and an electrified grid that destroys the insect
Emulsifiers are substances that stabilise the combination of two substances that would not normally mix together (oil and water for example). Food emulsifiers can be natural such as egg yolk, honey, mustard and Soya Lecithin or can be synthetic and referred to by an E number (E471 for example). Emulsifiers are also used in cleaning chemicals such as detergents to disolve grease and hold it in suspension in water.
A disease that is prevelant in a certain area
Toxins that are present on the outer membrane or the cell of many gram-negative bacteria. They are released on the death of the bacteria
Inflamation of the intestine
Able to produce toxins that adversely affect the intestines
Exotoxins that affect the gastro-intestinal tract
The denial of access to pests through the good design, maintenance and mangement of a food premises and the denial of food and harbourage by good housekeeping and cleaning
A protein that regulates the rate of a chemical reaction in the body. Enzymes are commonly used in food due to their functional properties
A sudden spread of a large number of cases of disease within in a community when there are usually much smaller numbers of cases
The branch of medicine that deals with the causes, distribution and control of disease.
Since the UK joined the Common Market several hundred regulations have been introduced to secure compliance with EU directives. Occaisionally the EU produces binding regulations which are applicabl to all member states without the need for each country to enact its own legislation.
This consists of a long tube bent many times and passed through many, usually hundreds, of aluminum fins. Air from the cabinet is drawn over the evaporator and the heat is passed to the liquid refrigerant, delivered from the condenser which boild and reverts to a gas
The removal of the internal organs and intestines (as term used in primary meat and fish preparation)
Highly toxic proteins usually produced during the multiplication or sporation of some gram-positive bacteria. They are often produced in food
Any contaminant of raw material or food. Usually referred to as "Foreign Bodies" in a finished product
Contaminants that are not part of the food. This could be pieces of metal, glass, wood, stones etc.
Excretia or stools. This is the indigestable element of food. One third of the dry weight of excretia from humans is bacteria. This will mainly be Escherichia Coli (E Coli) and Streptococcus faecalis
The process involving the growth of benefitial microorganisms and the production of acid in foods such as yogurts and cheese
A systematic representation of the sequence of steps or operations involved with a particular food item or process. This usually would run from receipt of goods to selection by the consumer/customer.
Any business that, through its normal commercial activities, handles food or food sources in anyway. This includes not for profit organisations as well
A surface that comes into contact with food, for example, chopping boards or indeed a knife or utensil
Any person in a food business that handles food whether opened or packaged. This includes drink and ice
An acute illness of sudden onset caused by the recent consumption of contaminated or poisonus food
A food safety system is a legal requirement in the UK for all food businesses. It is designed to support the business to manage food safety effectively as well as identify and control risks and hazards. Good food safety systems are built around the principles of HACCP (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points).
A food safety system is a legal requirement in the UK for all food businesses. It is designed to support the business to manage food safety effectively as well as identify and control risks and hazards. Good food safety systems are built around the principles of HACCP (Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points).
This does not refer to motor vehicles carrying food. A food vehicle is the food that is eaten that contains a pathogen which may give rise to food poisoning
Illness resulting from the consumption of food contaminated by pathogenic microoganisms and/or their toxins. Characterised by having a low infective dose and no requirement for the multiplication of microorganisms within the food to cause illness
Inanimate objects such as clothes, books and bedding that can harbour pathogens and act as a vehicle of infection
The loss of moisture from the surface of unwrapped frozen food. Results in the surface appearing discoloured, with a parchment like appearance or with spongy pale brown or yellow patches
The Food Standards Agency
The application of a toxic chemical in the form of a gas, vapour or volatile liquid in a closed container or to a food stack under a gass proof sheets
Plants unable to produce their own food and are usually parasitic or saprophytic. Fungi includes single celled microscopic yeasts, moulds, mildews and toadstools. Yeasts are used for fermentation, moulds cause food spoilage and ring worm is a fungal disease of animals
A substance that will kill fungi and moulds
An inflammation of the stomach and intestines which normally results in Diarrhoea
An agent used to kill microorganisms
The process resulting in the formation of a new mature vegetative bacterium from a spore, following heat activation and slow cooling
Iron or Steel that has been coated with a layer of zinc for protection against corrosion
Good Manufacturing Practice. Expected standards of food production that comply with all current legislation and advised best practice in a particular sector of the food industry
A device fitted to a drainage system to prevent fat and grease entering the sewer.
Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point. The core of any food safety system which identifies, evaluates and controls hazards which are significant to food safety. The Food Safety System is built on the principles of HACCP
HABCIs the abbreviation of the Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance. HABC is the UK and Middle East’s leading supplier of compliance qualifications and apprenticeships. HABC is regulated by Ofqual, the Welsh Government, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and the Security Industry Authority (SIA). HABC is a family-run business, operating on the core values of quality, value, service and integrity.
A group of people with appropriate expertise who develop and implement a HACCP based food safety management system.
Organisms that can survive in high salt concentrations but cannot grow
Organisms that can grow in high concentrations of salt
A surface touched by a hand, for example door handles, draw handles, taps, nail brushes, toilet seats and utensil handles
A biological, chemical or physical agent in relation to food with the potential to cause harm. Note: most biological hazards are microbiological
The process of collecting and evaluating information on hazards and conditions leading to their presence to decide which are significant to food safety and therefore should be addressed as part of a Food Safety System
A medical questionnaire completed from example when applying for a job in the food industry. This is the term sometimes used for a "Return to work" questionnaire when a person returns to work following an illness so that they can be assessed for their suitability to handle food
Unstable at High Temperatures. Protein for example can be changed or destroyed at high temperatures
A package for foodstuff with an airtight seal to protect from contamination. For example, cans, plastic bottles and cartons. Food may be pasturized or sterilized after sealing the pack or alternatively, packed in a sterile atmosphere
Ready to eat foods
Highfield Awarding Body for ComplianceHABC is the UK and Middle East’s leading supplier of compliance qualifications and apprenticeships. HABC is regulated by Ofqual, the Welsh Government, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and the Security Industry Authority (SIA). HABC is a family-run business, operating on the core values of quality, value, service and integrity.
An organism providing food and shelter for a parasite that either lives on or in the host
The process by which cooked or reheated food is held intentionally hot prior to and during service to consumers. This may be through the use of Bain Marie units, hot cabinets and hot plates. Food must only be held for 2 hours if being in conditions colder than 63oC, if holding hotter there is no limit to the time food can be held for, however, the quality of the food will deteroriate and be unpleasant to eat after certain point. Core temperatures must be checks whilst being held hot
The science of preserving health and involves all the measures necessary to ensure the safety and wholesomeness of food
Insitute of Food Sience and Technology
The cells and proteins the fight invading pathogens and protect the body from infection
An individual who is unable to produce the normal immune response to an infection
The period between infection and the first signs of illness
Generally non-pathogenic organisms, not usually present in the food, the presence of which suggests poor hygiene and that the food may be contaminated with pathogenic organisms
The number of a particular microorganism required under normal circumstances to produce clinical signs of disease
The presence of mice, rats, insects, mites in numbers or under conditions that involve an immediate potential risk to contamination, loss or damage to food. The term usually implies the existence of a breeding population but may denot the presence of individuals
Substances that do not contain carbon, such as salt or metal
Chemical substances used to kill insects
The systematic gathering and recording of data from observations, examinations, and discussions with food handlers and managers, the interpretation and analysis of the data collected and the preparation of an understandable and actionable report. EHO's will conduct this sort of inspection in a food premises
The cost effective implementation of prevention an eradication strategies based on the biology of pests, intended to ensure a pest free operation. This is the sort of service provided by Pest Control Contractors
This is contamination by a substance naturally associated with a food product, such as stalks, bones, shell and sinue.
A single species of a microorganism originating from a particular sample or environment, growing in a pure culture
Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services
The first phase of bacterial growth when there is no multiplication and the bacteria acclimitises to its new environment
The immature stage of an insect that goes through complete metamorphosis. (Egg>larva>pupa>adult)
The feeling of weakness or tiredness
A gram positive, flagellated rod shaped bacterium and is one of the most virulent foodborne pathogens. 20 to 30% of infections result in death. It is commonly found in sewage, effluent and manure. The incubation period can be anything from 1 to 70 days and symptoms include fever, diarrhoea, septicaemia and menigitis. It is known to multiply at low temperatures even below 3oC. It is not particularly heat resitant and thorough cooking can destroy it. Certain foods such as soft cheeses and pates have been implicated in outbreaks but the bacteria has also been found in cooked meat products, rice products, salads and many dairy products.
Lines marked on refrigerated units above or in front of which product will be out of refrigeration or will obstruct airflow. The result being a failure to keep the food at the correct temperature
These are made or adopted by local authorities and are legally binding only within the area of that particular authority. Bylaws must be formally approved by the specific Minister before they can take effect.
Food With a pH above 4.5
A pathogen capable of causing illness with very few organisms, for example less than 10. Foodbourne diseases are usually caused by low dose pathogens
In reference to food, an item that would usually not normally support the multiplication of pathogens. However, they may occaisionally be responsible for foodbourne illness if they are ready-to-eat food contaminated with low dose pathogens. Lettuce for example is a low risk food that can easily become contaminated and cause illness. Low risk in basic terms means the potential to cause harm is small or minimal.
Ambient stable food that do not normally support the multiplication of pathogens. However, they may occaisionally be responsible for foodbourne illness if they are ready-to-eat food contaminated with low dose pathogens. Lettuce for example is a low risk food that can easily become contaminated and cause illness
A measure of lighting levels
A vague feeling of being ill
The Meat Hygiene Service has been absorbed into the Food Standards Agency. The Meat Hygiene division of the FSA is responsible for licensing and inspecting meat establishments including slaughter houses, cutting plants and game processing facilities. Butchers shops are not included in terms of inspection however specific laws and regulations apply to butchers along with all other areas of the meat industry
Organisms that have a growth range of 10oC to 56oC with an optimum of 20oC to 46oC
A term used to describe all of the chemical processes the occur in the body
Organisms that refer to grow in an environment of approxiamtely 5% oxygen. For example: Campylobacter
The science of studying microorganisms
Any minute living organism including bacteria, yeasts, moulds, viruses, protozoa and prions
A kitchen appliance that heats food by dielectric heating using Microwave radiation. Microwaves heat food quickly and efficiently. The process excites water molecules in the food and produces heat in a fairly uniform way. Food is generally heated evenly throughout, except in the case of very dense or thick objects, than would generally occur in conventional ovens. Microwaves do not usually add colour or brown food but are ideal for reheating previously cooked foods or to rapidly heat slow cook foods.
A type of fungus similar to mould
The replacement of air in a package by one or more gases followed by the sealing to prevent the re-entry of air. Commonly used to pack chilled meat.
The planned observations and measurements of control parameters to confirm that a process is under control and that critical limits are not exceeded.
The study of the structure and form of microorganisms
Microscopic plants (fungi) that may appear as woolly patches on food
Poisonus chemicals (toxins) produced by some moulds, for example Apergillus Flavus
The national measurement accreditation service. All laboratories analysing food should be registered with NAMAS
A newborn child up to four weeks old
Nettle rash (also known as urticaria, hives or welts) is a raised, red, itchy rash that appears on the skin. Urticaria happens when a trigger, normally an allergen causes the body to release the protein histamine. Histamine causes tiny blood vessels to leak fluid, the fluid gathers in the skin and causes a rash.
A poison or toxin produced by pathogens for example Cl. Botulinum, which affects the nervous system
The period between consumption of food and the first signs of illness and where incubation of the microoganism has not taken place within the body.
The egg case of a cockroach
Unwrapped food that may be exposed to contamination
The Best
Relating to or derived from plants or animals and having a carbon basis. Not to be confused with Organic Food, which is to do with the environmentally friendly methods used to grow and process that food
The term used when using the five senses of Sight, Smell, Hear, Taste and Touch
Organisms that can survive in high concentrations of sugar but do not multiply
Organisms that can grow in high concentrations of sugar
In incident in which two or more individuals, thought to have common exposure, experience similar illness or proven infection. At least one of them has to have been ill
The place where the food vehicle was prepared or served
An organism the lives and feeds in or on another living creature, known as the host, in a way that benefits the parasite and disadvantages the host. In some cases the host eventually dies
A heat treatment of food at a relatively low temperature that destroys vegetative pathogens and most spoilage organisms so to prolong the shelf life. Toxins and spores generally survive this process therefore rapid cooling and refrigerated storage is usually essential
Disease producing Organism
Measures taken by food handlers to protect food from contamination from themselves. Good personal hygiene is essential in food premises
Any living creature capable of directly or indirectly contaminating food. This includes domestic animals
A chemical used to kill pests
An index used as a measure of acidity or alkalinity. The lower the number the higher the acid the level, the higher the number the higher the alkaline level. 7 is regarded as neutral
A variety of bacteria within a particular species, distinguished on the basis of their susceptability to a range of bacteriophages
The number of colonies of bacteria growing on an agar plate
Safe to drink and acceptable to use in food production. This term is usually given to drinking water
The good hygiene practices that a food business must have in place before implementing HACCP. Prerequisite programmes allow the HACCP plan to concentrate on the most significant hazards.
The treatment of food to prevent or delay spoilage and inhibit growth of pathogenic organisms which would render the food unfit
Pressure cookers are large saucepan sized pieces of equipment with a heavy lid, locking mechanism and a pressure valve. Pressure cooking is the process of being able to seal in water and air below a certain pressure. The boiling point of water increases as pressure increases allowing the cooker to get hotter before boiling and therefore cooking quicker than would normally be possible. Large Scale versions are found in the catering and food manufacturing industry and are known as Retorts or Autoclaves
Those stages in the food chain up to and including for example, harvesting, slaughtering, milking and fishing
Proteinaceous infectious particles. Or an infectious agent composed of protein, this is different to most other infectious agents such as virus, bacteria and fungi as it does not contain nucleic acids. Prions are responsible for the transmission of CJD, Scrapie and Mad Cow Disease
The part of a thermometer that is inserted into food or between packs to obtain temperature readings
This refers to the date code or shelf life of a product. It is usually marked on the outer product packaging and shows the consumer/user its safe shelf life within which it should be consumed. Importantly this is the shelf life whilst wrapped, it does necessarily relate to the shelf life once the product is opened.
The clothing worn by food handlers to prevent contamination. This can include Hairnets, Hats, Coats, Gloves, Aprons and footwear.
Having the ability to breakdown proteins. For example proteolytic enzymes are sometimes used in the baking industry as they break down the protein bonds in gluten cell structures
Single celled organisms which form the basis of the food chain. They live in moist habitats uch as oceans, rivers, soil and decaying matter. Some can be pathogenic for example: Entamoeba Histolytica
Organisms that have a growth range of -8oC to 25oC with an optimum below 20oC
Organisms that have a growth range of -5oC to 40oC with an optimum above 20oC
Pertaining to the lungs
The third stage of development of insects that undergo complete metamorphosis
A popular name for quarternary ammonium compounds or in other words, disinfectants
Food that is intended to be eaten without any treatment that would destroy pathogens that may be present. Hight risk foods include all high risk foods such as fruit, salad, vegetables and bread
Regulations and Orders are delegated legislation made by the appopriate Minister, who is empowered to do so under a specific Act. For example The Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations 1995 were made under the Food Safety Act 1990. Regulations and Orders usually deal with specific premises, products or commodities in much greater detail than Acts
Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland
The addition of liquid such as water or milk to dry foods
Long lasting insecticide applied in such a way that it remains active for a considerable length of time
A commercial pressure cooker, bigger in size than would be seen in a domestic situation. Commonly used on a large scale in food manufacturing
A reassessment of the HACCP system to ensure its continually validated.
Royal Insititute of Public Health
The likelihood of a hazard occurring in food
The process of identifying hazards, assessing likelihood of occurrence and severity and evaluating the significance.
The path along which bacteria are transferred from a source to ready to eat food
Food that is nutritious, compositionally sound, free from contaminants at levels that could cause harm or illness and is labelled with the correct safety instructions for storage and use
A gram negative non-spore forming rod shaped bacterium, closely related to Esherichia Bacteriums it is found world wide in cold and warm blooded animals, humans and the environment. They can cause illnessess like Typhoid Fever, Paratyphoid Fever as well as food bourne illness. Salmonella infections are zoonotic - they can be passed from animal to human. Infections are usually caused by ingestion of contaminated food. Symptons show after an onset period of one hour to one day and causes intestine inflamation, abdominal cramps and diarrhoea that can be bloody. Salmonella bacteria survive outside the body and do not get destroyed through freezing. Thorough cooking is the only way to control this bacteria. It is almost always present in poultry, some vegetables including salad leaves, but it can be passed on through dirty water, dirty work surfaces and from human to human contact
A chemical agent used for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and equipment
An organism that lives on dead organic matter
This is the equivalent body to the FSA in England and Wales and sets policy for food standards across Scotland. In the main, the policies and standards in Scotland are identical to the rest of the UK, however there are certain differences where legal frameworks differ. The Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme run by the SFSA varies from the UK system.
Blood poisoning. Rapid multiplication of bacteria and toxin production within the blood
A test used to distinguish between different sub-types of the same species of bacteria, for example: Salmonella Typhi and Salmonella Enteritidis
The Scottish Food Standards Agency - this is the equivalent body to the FSA in England and Wales and sets policy for food standards across Scotland. In the main, the policies and standards in Scotland are identical to the rest of the UK, however there are certain differences where legal frameworks differ. The Food Hygiene Ratings Scheme run by the SFSA varies from the UK system.
The period within which food is safe and of the best quality
A gram negative non-spore forming rod shaped bacterium, closely related to E Coli. It is only found in humans and apes and it causes disease such as dysentry. It is commonly found in the developing world where poor sanitation is the vehicle. Visitors to third world countries are known to bring this bacteria back with them to the UK.
Screens fitted to food displays intended to protect food from consumers coughs and sneezes
Society of Food Hygiene and Technology
A source may be considered as the origin of the pathogen (causative agent), for example the cow on the farm or the vehicle that brought the pathogen into the premises, for example, the milk
A system of cooking (pasteurizing) raw or part-cooked food in a sealed pouch under vacuum. After pastuerization the pouch is then cooled and stored below 3oC. Products have a shelf life of upto 21 days (eight in the UK) and are regenerated using heat, immediately before consumption
Food deterioration resulting in off - flavours, odours, and changes in appearance, indication the products are unsuitable for sale or consumption
A single case of disease, apparently unrelated to any other cases
The reproductive body of a fungus
A resistant resting-phase of bacteria which protects them against adverse conditions
The production of spores, for example, in adverse conditions
A gram positive round shaped bacterium the produces exotoxins. Staphylococcus Aureus is commonly found on the skin and in the nasal passages of humans, especially on the hands. The majority of outbreaks are caused by direct contamination of cooked food by soiled hands
Free from living organisms
A process that destroys all living organisms
The practice of ensuring the oldest stock is used first and that all stock is used within it's shelf life
The process of ice, under vacuum, changing directly into water vapour without going through a liquid phase
With symptoms
A phenomenon whereby two chemicals in combination have a greater effect than the sum of their individual efforts
A disease affecting the whole body, as opposed to being localised
Contamination of food from undesirable flavours or odours, for example, butter absorbs paint fumes and chocolate stored next to detergent washing powders will taste soapy
A device fitted to a tap which delivers a predetermined amount of detergent or sanitizer to the water
Control criterion that is even more stringent than the critical limit and which can be used to reduce the risk of a deviation, for example the aim to cook to a temperature of 78oC to ensure you achieve the critical limit of 75oC
The naming of organisms (nomenclature), the grouping of organisms (classification) and identification of organisms
Coloured marble chips set into portland cement in a mosaic fashion. This sort of floor can be attacked by acids or alkalis
This was the most important piece of legislation to affect the food industry in many years and related to the sale of food for human consumption and as such is applicable to all food premises. It enabled Ministers to issue regulations for securing food safety throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
Organisms that can survive but do not multiply at temperatures above 45oC
Organisms that prefer to multiply above 45oC
The specific degree of latitude for a control measure, which if exceeded, requires immediate corrective action. The tolerance is the difference between the target level and the critical limit. So if the target food temperature is 5oC and the critical limit is 8oC the tolerance is 3oC
The total number of living cells detectable in a sample. The number of cells is assessed from the number of colonies, which develop on incubation of a suitable medium, that has been inoculated with the sample of bacteria
Poisons produced by pathogens, either in food or in the body after consumption of contaminated food
Trading Standards Officers. These are local officers with similar powers as the police to caution and gain access to premises. They are focused on the protection of the public by ensuring that business and organisations are conduting their operations fairly, safetly and in accordance with UK law. They are heavily involved with food business due to the vast amount of legislation that exists to control how food is advertised, labelled and sold. In recent years both TSO's and EHO's have been combined into Public Safety Departments of local authorities.
Any method used to distinguish between closely related strains of microoganisms, for example, members of the same species
Ultra Heat Treatment - used for certain foods such as Milk to prolong shelf life and make the product ambient stable
The date mark required on high risk perishable prepacked food, which must be stored under refrigeration. The food should be consumed on or before the use by date. It is an offence to sell food after it's use by date
Obtaining evidence that elements of the HACCP based food safety management system are effective, especially the critical control points and critical limits. For example: Validation could involve tests to ensure that the oven temperature and time allowed to cook a piece of meat were sufficient to achieve the critical limit of 75oC. All critical limits must be validated.
Viable Bacteria capable of multiplication
Things used by bacteria to transfer them from sources to ready to eat food
The application of methods, procedures and tests, and other evaluations, in addition to the monitoring, to determine compliance with the HACCP plan. This includes HACCP audits, checking monitoring records and product testing to ensure the total HACCP based food safety management system is operating effectively and safe food is being produced.
VerminA pest or nuisance animal, especially those that threaten human society by spreading disease or destroying crops or livestock. Vermin describes anything from Rats and Mice through to Pigeons, Flies, Foxes, Cockroaches, Ants and Wasps.
A gram negative curved rod shaped bacteria found in sea/salt water. It does not form spores so is not resistant to wide variations in temperature. Food poisioning in the UK is rare from this bacteria however, it usually occurs following the consumption of imported seafood. Its presence is oysters for example is known to cause acute gastroenteritis. Wounds can also be infected but are less common
Increasingly viral infections are being attributed to food poisoning outbreaks. However viral infections are unlikely to come from the food itself, indeed experts believe transmission comes from human to human contact or airborne spread from vomit. Inhalation of particals from vomit and faeces may sound unlikely however, it is from desicated (dried) remains of both that can present a problem particular in close environments such as hospitals, care homes and closed communities.
The study of viruses
The ability of a pathogen to cause disease, for example, the number of deaths, the proportion of people exposed to infection who became ill and how rapidly the infection spreads through the body
Microscopic pathogens that multiply in the living cells of a host
A measure of the water available in a food
Water containing dissolved calcium and magnesium salts. Temporary hardness results from the presence of bicarbonates and these form a scale when water is heated. Permanent hardness involves sulphates and is unaffected by heat. Soft water usually has up to 60ppm (parts per million) of salts, whereas hard water is over 120ppm. Hardness interferes with the action of soap and can cause scum on the water surface
A unit to remove water hardness salts to prevent scale build up in water heating equipment
Sound food that is fit for human consumption
Organisms capable of growth under dry conditions at lower levels of air
A unicellular fungus which reproduces by budding and grows rapidly on certain food stuffs, especially those containing sugar. Yeasts are the chief agent in fermentation and bread making
A gram negative rod shaped bacterium. It is found in the gut and intestines of humans and animals. Not all strains of this bacterium are pathogenic to humans, but it can be spread through contaminated water and by the oral - faecal route. Food poisoning is rare in the UK however there have been many outbreaks in the USA and Scandinavia. Symptoms can take upto 5 days to appear and range from Fever, Headaches, Vomitting, Psudoappendicitis and Diarrhoea
The change in temperature in degrees celcius required for a ten fold change in D value
Disease that can be transmitted naturally from animal to man and vice versa
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